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The new system has been designed to combat issues brought up by students, such as the lack of storage in their mailboxes, and the fact that they are unable to access their emails from mobile devices such as phones or iPads.
ISS (Information Systems Services) are in the process of addressing these issues, and as a solution will be offering a new emailing system to students returning to Lancaster next year, provided by Microsoft. Their Live@edu system is a Cloud-based email platform developed especially for education.
The new service offers an improvement in the storage size of the mailbox to 10GB. It also enables students the ability to access their emails anytime and anywhere, whether it is from a desktop, phone or other mobile device. In a future development there will also be an integrated calendar and online address book which would be populated with staff emails. There will also be improved filtering to cut down on junk mail.
When asked how they are ensuring a smooth transition to the new email system, ISS said that they “are carrying out extensive tests to ensure that mail delivery to the new service functions as expected”. They also said that “information provided by the (volunteer) early adopters of the system is constantly being evaluated to ensure training materials and ISS Service Desk FAQs are up to date and relevant in rolling out the service”. Also, “students will maintain their current email address and every student will be advised in advance when their mailbox is due to be moved”.
ISS were also asked if they had a back-up plan in case the transition went wrong. They replied: “ISS have invested a considerable number of hours in planning for the move and consequently are not expecting problems. However, it is acknowledged that even the best laid plans do, on occasions, go wrong. Consequently, ISS have moved cautiously to avoid issues, but in the event of problems in the transition to Live@edu students will be moved back to the Unix mail (Webmail) system they currently use.”
ISS added: “ISS believe this move will prove a great success for students; providing larger mailboxes, improved access from multiple platforms and mobile devices and provide the ability in the future to integrate further with the Exchange mail and other university systems.”